Thursday, July 30, 2015

B2S Bash Basket #15 -- "Hop" to Win!

Today is the day! Our Back to School Bash is all kinds of ready for you to ENTER to win it BIG! We have EIGHTEEN {YES! EIGHTEEN!} amazing bash baskets for you this year! At each blog you will find a little bit of info about the prize that you can win, a Rafflecopter to enter, and a button to hop on over to the next blog! While you are hopping around, we would love for you to follow our blogs so that you will always be "in the know" about what's going on. You will even be able to pick up some pretty nice teaching tips as well throughout the year! So let's get this thing rolling! 

I am beyond excited about Bash Basket #15. If you are needing some extra decor for your classroom this year...this is the place to be! 

Bash Basket #15$100 Decor Bundle from Creative Teaching Press

Check out CTP's two newest and most popular design lines! 
YOU get to choose which line you would like your decor package from....

"Chalk It Up"...

...or "Painted Palette!"

Be sure that you follow CTP Facebook page and Instagram to shower them with love. They are always SO supportive of educators and generously give at meet-ups and "give-back-to-teachers give-away events" like this, let's return that love!  They were so sweet to join our B2S Bash this year! You can click on the pictures below! 

The winner of this Bash Basket will also receive a Whisper Phone Select which is perfect for small group reading instruction. 

And we're not done yet. Need some back to school resources? The winner of this basket will receive a link to a folder containing all of these resources below. You can click on any of the covers below to check them out on TPT! 

Image Map

Do you wanna win? Enter right here! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hurry! Hurry! Hop on over to Deedee at Mrs. Wills' Kindergarten to see what she has in store for you! 

Thanks so much for joining us for our 3rd year of back to school fun! And also a HUGE thanks to our sponsors for being so generous and so supportive of teachers! And you ain't seen nothin' yet! How is that for some grammar? ;) 

Seriously, the grand prize this year is 

So make sure you check that out on Instagram on 
August 2nd! 

Back to School Bash -- Amazing Giveaway!

That's right, my friends! It's that time of year. Back to School Bash 2015 begins tomorrow! In just a few short hours we will introduce you to all of the amazing prizes and sponsors. Then you can enter to win BIG beginning on July 31st. This year we have over $5,000 in back to school swag! No, read that right! $5,000!!! People love them some teachers, y'all! 

So join me and some of my blogging besties below for some amazing giveaways this week. It all begins tomorrow when we will introduce our 18 BASH BASKETS! Be sure you get yourself a head start and follow all of these amazing blogs and their Instagram accounts. Believe me...this year you don't want to miss a thing! 


See you all tomorrow! 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Gift of a Day: A Summer Tradition

Hello, my friends!  I know Back-to-School season is upon us, and I have been busy at home and in my classroom prepping for the upcoming year.   I truly am super excited for school to begin…but it’s also a bittersweet time for me.   As y’all know, I’m a momma too… and I will always view being a parent as my life’s most important work! On that note, I’m doing my best to squeeze every last minute of special time with my own kiddos out of the summer! 

Now, if you’ve followed me for long, you already know I’m a family tradition nut!  I’m ALL about making memories and trying to be “intentional” as a parent. However, I’m human and as hard as I’ve tried, I just can’t manage to add hours to the day or extra days to the week…so I’ve had to be creative in the ways of creating family traditions.  I have to find ways to make a BIG impact with the limited amount of time I seem to have.  I think I’ve come up with quite a few pretty cool traditions that are “do-able” for parents with limited time, if I do say so myself! 

I know this is a “teaching” blog… but I always seem to get a lot of positive feedback and questions when I post about special things I do with my family….so I thought I’d share more.  

One of my favorite summer traditions is what we call 
A Gift of a Day.”

I mean, really…Fewer things sound more delightful than spending a day doing exactly what we want, right?!! To our family, “The Gift of a Day” reminds us that sometimes we need to put our obligations and our work aside and just BE.  We need to spend time with our loved ones, in our favorite place doing our favorite things, completely relaxing and forgetting about the hustle and bustle of our daily lives. “The Gift of a Day” is about making the most of every moment and approaching all that you do with purpose and love.  It's about keeping the people and activities we value the most in the forefront of our minds so that we don't get distracted by all those things that aren't important.  It's about feeling the satisfaction of truly giving and appreciating life around us and not taking one single thing for granted.

I may not be able to be “SUPERMOM” every day of the year….but this tradition allows me to be just that for a least one day! LOL   And when you stop to think about it… If you consider how the events of a single day have changed the course of history… maybe, just maybe, giving your child a “Gift of a Day” may just change their lives forever too!  

So this is how it works in my family...

During the first week of summer, we have each family member complete their own "perfect day" card. (We currently just have our kiddos fill them out…but every few years “we” {mom & dad} have filled them out too!) We have each person write down (in their own handwriting -- It makes an awesome keepsake!) all of their favorite things, the things that they would love to experience packed in one day! We then store each member’s card in his/her envelope on their specially assigned page in our “Gift of a Day” memory book.  

This is what OUR little "Gift of a Day" keepsake book looks like.
Here is a peek at the inside.  The first pic shows a little description of the tradition and the next two pics are examples of the inside pages.  Note that the photos of my boys are glued onto actual envelopes that are glued onto the pages of the mini-scrapbook.  The cream cards then slide into the envelopes for keepsake keeping!  (Sorry!  I know these pics are not the greatest...but I want to get this post finished and posted!)

This is just a small scrapbook that has an envelope glued to each page with a name on each. Nothing fancy….just simple and organized. {You could also just have a special envelope for each person that you keep in a pretty little storage box. The container doesn’t matter.  It’s the memories that will!}  During the summer, we commit one day to giving each family member the “Gift of a Day.”  We secretly plan these days without our children’s knowledge and then surprise them on the morning of their special day by decorating their door and other places around the house with simple posters and balloons. Even though we have done this for over seven years and the kiddos know their special days are coming, the look on their faces on their “Gift of a Day” mornings is priceless!

One of our favorite parts of this tradition is actually looking back in each of our envelopes at the past years’ “Gift of a Day” cards and photos.  My kids get a big kick out of looking back at what they used to think was “the best thing ever” and giggling at those things! 

Here are a few pics from past "Gift of a Day" activities....

Lexi's 2008 Gift of Day: Spending a "girls" day with her best friend, big cousin and Mommy!  We went to Build-A-Bear, went to the animal shelter and made some animal treat donations, and played with the animals waiting for homes.  #futurevet  

Lexi's 2010 Special Day:  Another girls' Day at the animal shelter with her big cousin and a few friends! I love that almost every year her idea of a "perfect day" involves serving!  

Colton's 2008 Gift of a Day: He just wanted "his people" (cousins, aunts, uncles and friends) to come over and play tractors with him in his room.   We had a cookout menu of hotdogs, carrots and beans. (His choice!) We had over 50 people show up to celebrate Colton's "Gift of a Day" and have pictures of everyone of them in his "tractor room" with him!  #lookatthatsmile 

(Thought you'd get a pic out of a throw back family pic!)

 Colton's 2009 Gift of a Day: All he wanted was to have his family over for an "Ehle chicken" cookout and set up his tent!  We actually took pictures of all 60 people who came!  It was incredible! #hesapeopleperson #ehlechickenisfamous

Colton's 2010 Gift of a Day: Oh, you know.... The year that he wanted "his tribe" to come over for a play date in his teepee.   LOL.  Yes, yes I did paint a photo prop for the occasion.  Hey! It was on his "perfect day" request list! Oh... Did you check out all the cool teenagers he invited who painted his nickname "Bubba" on their chests?!   #everyoneinEhlevilleappreciatesthistradition

Hunter's 2008 Special Day:  Hanging out at Chuck E. Cheese, Crazy  Pins and Steak and Shake with his best friend, Ty.   Ty has been a part of Hunter's special day for 7 straight years!  The picture memories are incredible! #bestbuds

 Lexi's 2014 Gift of a Day: This day included chillin' at our pond with her bestie! #simplelifeisgood

So that’s it! It’s pretty simple really….but it has had a HUGE impact on my kids.  They know I can get “busy” with my job….but they know I know how to “stop the bus” (<-- Reference to Ron Clark’s new Move Your Bus book here! If you haven’t read it yet….do it! It’s great!) and put things in priority.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my family and this is just one simple way I can show them!

If this post has inspired you to try granting “A Gift of a Day” to your kiddos (or hubby), click HERE to snag my template of our “Gift of Day” cards!  Be sure to leave feedback if this post was helpful to you!  I have dozens of other fun family traditions I can share, but want to make sure that YOU would find them useful/beneficial since they are not technically “school” related!